September 16, 2010

Mexico's Bicentennial!!!

(Independence Day – Mexico)

Often called El Grito, 16 de Septiembre is one of the most important of Mexico's holidays. This year is extra-special as Mexico celebrates 200 years of independence and 100 years of its Revolution that began in 1910 and that ousted the dictator Porfirio Diaz.

El Grito means “the cry.” On September 18, 1810, Father Miguel Hidalgo rang the bell of his church and, along with a few co-conspirators, called on his countrymen to fight against the Spaniards for liberty. This ended up being Mexico's Declaration of Independence, although the first major battle between Mexican nationalists and Spain didn't occur for four days, and full independence wasn't won until 1821. Just as the U. S. celebrates its birthday on the day that Thomas Jefferson and others DECLARED independence (even though independence wasn't truly won for seven years), Mexico celebrates its birthday with Father Hidalgo's Grito.

The day is celebrated, in part, by the President of Mexico ringing the actual bell that Father Hidalgo rang so long ago, and then making a “cry of patriotism” based on Hidalgo's Grito. The crowd answers in a roar, “Viva Mexico!” and fireworks and rockets burst forth.

Check out this worksheet and coloring page

Here is some explanation about the colors of the Mexican flag, which will help with the coloring page.

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